NEW YORK - Rafael Nadal cruised into the US Open final with a 21-match hardcourt unbeaten streak on Saturday while world No.1 Novak Djokovic had to withstand a five-set, limit-testing struggle to join him.
Second-ranked Nadal, whose 12 grand slam titles include the 2010 US Open, routed French eighth seed Richard Gasquet 6-4 7-6 (7-1) 6-2 to reach his third final in four years. He missed the 2012 event with knee injuries.
"Just amazing," Nadal said.
"After what happened last year, to have the chance to play in the final on Monday is a dream for me. It has been two amazing weeks for me."
Serbian six-time major winner Djokovic outlasted Swiss ninth seed Stanislas Wawrinka 2-6 7-6 (7-4) 3-6 6-3 6-4 after four hours and nine minutes to reach his fourth US Open final in a row, fifth overall, and 12th slam final.
Nadal leads Djokovic 21-15 in their personal rivalry, which will move past John McEnroe and Ivan Lendl as the most-played match-up in the Open era.
Nadal won their most recent meetings in a five-set French Open semi-final and last month's Montreal semi-finals and has split two US Open finals with him, winning in 2010 to complete a career grand slam but losing a year later to give Djokovic his first trophy on the Flushing Meadows hardcourts.
"Novak is an amazing competitor," Nadal said. "His results say it. He's one of the best players I've ever seen.
"He's a great champion. It will be a tough final for me but I hope to be ready for that."
Meanwhile, Djokovic ripped the US Open for their scheduling of his matches on Saturday and made it clear that he is no fan of the new Monday final program debuting this year. Djokovic unleashed his fury after advancing to his fourth consecutive US Open championship match and 12th grand slam final by defeating Wawrinka.